Motherboards.org Folding @ Home Team :: Configuration

General

The first thing to consider when running the FAH client is your CPU speed. If it's below 500mhz, it's recommended by Stanford to specify a preference for GAH work units as they are easier to process on sub-500mhz systems. Their main concern is completing the work units before a certain deadline. You will get credit for all units that you have completed, even if they have expired, but they will not be as useful scientifically.

There are two types of work units. Gromacs (which use SSE instructions) and Tinkers (which do not use SSE instructions). The project summary page has information on work unit sizes and the deadline for completion.

Operating System

Consider turning off background processes that aren't needed. Windows startup items should be kept to a reasonable minimum. You can disable startup items by using msconfig. On Windows XP Pro, background processes can be disabled by typing services.msc in the run menu. Be absolutely certain before making these adjustments though as it could effect system stability.

Processor

CPU issues center around speed of the processor, and if certain instruction sets are included on the CPU or not. The generalized method for sub 500mhz CPU's is to specify a preference for GAH WU's. If sse instruction sets are on the CPU, then the -forceasm flag can be used. If sse instruction sets are present, using the -advmethods flag might also be possible. Sse instruction sets are typically on pIII, and newer CPU's. Do not use the advmethods flag w/ sub 500mhz systems. Get the specifics on your CPU, then use the flags available to your advantage if possible.

Linux Specific:

Example with flags w/ linux console version

Sub 500mhz-
./FAH4Console-Linux.exe -config -verbosity 9 (select advanced options during config to specify GAH WU preference)
CPU w/ sse instructions-
./FAH4Console-Linux.exe -config -forceasm -advmethods -verbosity 9

Reference this for install/config of linux console version. Use ctrl -c to gently close current work performed in the console (any OS console version).

Windows Specific:

Windows Console: Simplified Method
Windows console version is downloaded to a folder labeled FAH Console (or as you like), and the md5sums are checked to be correct. Check for exact md5sum match- if it doesn't match, then delete it. Double click console.exe version downloaded, and input name (nickname), team #: 33258, and other info relevant to the specific system being used. Select advanced options, and specify CPU usage- use 100% for max. performance (adjust if necessary), and be certain to specify GAH WU preference for the sub 500mhz systems without sse instruction sets/optimizations on CPU. Use ctrl -c to close the console correctly.
Windows Console: More Advanced Methods
Windows console version is downloaded to a labeled folder, and md5sums are verified. Right click the window console executable, and create a shortcut. Move the shortcut to the desktop and then right click it, choose properties, and input the "flags" in the "target" location after the second quotation mark (make sure to put 1 space between the second quotation mark and the flag) as follows:

Example With Flags- Windows Console Version:

Sub 500mhz CPU (no sse optimizations):
...exe" -config -local -verbosity 9
CPU with sse optimizations:
...exe" -config -advmethods -forceasm -local -verbosity 9

After the flags are typed in select apply, close properties. Then double click short cut, which should bring up the console. Input your nickname, team #33258, and select advanced options. Choose GAH WU preference for the sub 500mhz machines, 100% for CPU (if necessary, lower from 100%- but should run OK at 100%), machine id #, and when finished, a new WU should be fetched. Some adjustments might have to be made for modem, and firewall rules might have to be created to ensure that it will automatically send, and fetch WU's.

Multiple CPU's (Windows)
Create a folder for each CPU, and label each one different (ex. FAh2, FAh3, ect...). Repeat above process, and give each successive instance a different machine id#. Configure Task Manager for each CPU instance. Stick to the rule that there should be one instance per CPU (or virtual CPU in hyperthreaded machines). Note: some feedback will be needed for multiple CPU machine configurations.

Overclocking

Realize that overclocking stresses the system, generating extra heat in the process. Use high performance (or more than adequate) cooling solutions if you overclock. Reference the overclocking forum for tips and tricks.

The one major issue that comes to mind, is the max. overclock will more than likely be lower than that achieved for a gaming configuration. This will mainly be due to the CPU being stressed more due to the FAH calculations that are being performed. Another way to look at it, is a gaming config can endure longer, even if there are errors occurring in the CPU, and system ram. FAH will not be able to tolerate errors coming from the CPU or system ram. If there are problems occurring while overclocking, reducing the overclock might help. WU types are different, with the "gromacs" WU stressing the CPU more than the "tinker" WU. Get a stable OC w/ a gromacs WU, and that should then work out OK. The gromacs WU's use sse instruction sets, tinker does not, so the difference is a gromacs WU will run slightly hotter (something like 1-2degC hotter).